The Supreme Court has ordered an 84-year-old retired lawyer, Yesero Mugenyi, to back off the property he grabbed from a senior citizen in Hoima about 35 years ago. Although they say justice delayed is justice denied, Philemon Wandera Amooti saw the light at the tunnel after Supreme Court ruled that his properties on the Bibanja Plot M 11 & Plot M12 in Hoima Town at Kikwite with developments thereon be returned to him.
After the ruling, Wandera expressed his excitement saying “even if I die now, I will die a happy man. I thank the Supreme Court Justices for upholding the truth and protecting the poor against the wealthy and arrogant land grabbers.”
In 1989, Yesero Mugenyi filed High Court Civil Suit No. 131 of 1989 against Philemon Wandera, Hoima S.S. School, Board of governors- Hoima Senior Secondary School in order to stop them from blocking his access to the Hoima- Kampala road. The court ruled in favour of Mugenyi and he was awarded damages of Shs4m as well as interest and costs.
In order to recover Shs4m from Wandera, Mugenyi on June 26, 1998, filed an application for execution seeking to recover a sum of Shs7,682,739. However, during the process of applying for execution, he forged court documents to include extra land which resulted in over-attachment of the land that was over 26 hectares.Wandera
This excessive attachment made Wandera lose both boarding Primary and Secondary schools that had different classroom blocks, dormitories, offices and staff quarters.
The school in contention
This fresh warrant of over-attachment for the immoveable property had not been applied for since Mugenyi had applied for moveable properties and the same had been granted by court.
However, the Court acting on Mugenyi’s misrepresentation and fraudulent documents issued a fresh warrant of attachment of immovable property of Plot MII comprising 43.65 acres with developed property. On January 30, 1999, the property was advertised for sale in The New Vision Newspaper and on February 19, 1999, the property was auctioned and sold to a company called Reuman & Co. Ltd. This company during its incorporation and registration was witnessed by Yesero Mugenyi as its counsel. It is owned by Mugenyi’s nephew, Reuben Kanyoro Rwitabaro with his children. Kanyoro is the same man that was used in the fraudulent attachment of Abdu Nassar’s house located on Plot 27 Kololo Hill Drive in LRV801 folio 24 by Mugenyi. He was jointly sued with Mugenyi by Nassar in a 2005 High Court Civil suit number 87/2005 and the matter is still before the courts of law.On September 30, 1999, Wandera filed Misc. Application No. 1213 of 1999 against Mugenyi and Reuman & Co. Ltd seeking to cancel the sale of their property the former alleged to have been purchased by the latter since the Court had issued a warrant of attachment and sale of immovable property in error.All attempts made by Wandera to stop the sale of his property proved to be futile as Mugenyi went ahead and sold the property even when the court ordered to stop the same after realizing the error of attachment.Through protracted litigation, Wandera finally appealed to the Supreme Court which held that the sale attachment process under civil suit 121 0f 1999 by Yesero Mugenyi was tainted with illegalities for example the property was advertised and sold before the expiration of the mandatory 30 days.A court of law cannot sanction an illegality and once an illegality is brought to court it overrides all the questions of proceedings.The court found that Mugenyi purposely and with intentions to defraud inserted “Bibanja to be found on Plot M11 and Plot M12 in Hoima Town at Kikwite with all the developments thereon to be identified by the Plaintiff (Mugenyi) be attached.” This was not in the original application. With its insertion both movable and immovable properties were attached in order to recover a mere Shs7m.Mugenyi the court held, wanted to enrich himself unjustly when he caused an alteration of the application from movable to immovable property by himself on Plot M11, M12 in Hoima Town at Kikwite with all the developments there.And consequently as a result of the alteration, those properties were attached by Mugenyi and sold to a proxy and renowned partner in crime.This case is further proof of how the octogenarian legal expert and barrister at law trained in the UK used his expertise to hoodwink, forge and dupe courts of or use them in order satisfy his insatiable need to acquire properties freely.As we write this, Wandera is set to execute the Supreme Court order in order to recover his properties from Mugenyi. The senior lawyer is supposed to pay heavy costs both in courts below and the Supreme Court. Justice J.N. Mulenga and other Justices of Supreme Court ruled that Mugenyi pays the owners of the school for the last 35 years since 1989 as the full matter can easily be found on the judicially website following the link hereunder -https://ulii.org/akn/ug/judgment/ugsc/2004/30/eng@2004-11-14.Meanwhile Mugenyi is the same city lawyer that reportedly grabbed property in Kololo from a former political leader in Amin’s government Nasser who had run to exile. Mugenyi, who duly accepted instructions as Nassar’s lawyer to evict the encroachers turned around and enjoyed rent for over 41-years. He is at the verge of losing billions of shillings after the High Court in Kampala (Land Division) dismissed his application MA No.415 of 2022 (arising from MA No.1403 of 2022 & CS No. 87 of 2005 that was meant to buy time and avoid execution.
The appeal had been filed by Mugenyi and S & M Holdings Ltd against Abdu Nassar whose property was fraudulently grabbed and his people denied access for many years.
On July 13, 2023, Justice Tadeo Asiimwe dismissed Mugenyi’s application on grounds that there is no right of appeal from an interlocutory order allowing an amendment of the plaint. “Such amendments are allowed by the law at any stage during the trial at the discretion of court. An order granting or rejecting an application for amendment is a discretionary one and therefore any appeal arising from it cannot succeed simply because the Appellate Court might have exercised their discretion differently. The Appellate Court will only interfere with the exercise of discretion in very exceptional circumstances, to prevent miscarriage of Justice. In cases where the question relates only to exercise of discretion (not involving a point of law), leave should generally be refused. It would be obviously absurd to allow an appeal against a decision under a provision designed to limit the right of Appeal. In the instant application, the court exercised its discretion and allowed an application for amendment in MA No. 1403/2022. The decision being a discretionary interlocutory order which does not determine the merits of the case, the same is not appealable and as such leave to appeal cannot be granted……,” reads part of the ruling.
The matter has so far lasted for 18 years in court and previously Mugenyi lost twice miserably in the Court of Appeal under Civil Appeal numbers 239/2015 and Civil application in the Court of Appeal 61/2020.
In the last Court of Appeal, Judgement by Kenneth Kakuru (RIP), was meant to frustrate and block the trial of this case in the High Court. And the Judge ordered that the matter should be extra-judicially heard by the trial judge.
Our efforts to talk to the named were futile as he could not return calls by press time.